President feels AG was not in contempt of court; No “justifiable” need for apology
President David Granger has said that he sees no reason why Attorney General Basil Williams should offer an apology to High Court Judge, Justice Franklyn Holder for his behaviour on March 23, 2017.
In fact, the President does not believe, based on explanations provided to him, that the AG’s behaviour in Court was contemptuous.
“If the Judge felt that his behaviour was contemptuous he knew what he had to do,” the President told media operatives during an interview at State House this morning (Wednesday, May 17, 2017).
Both the President and acting Chancellor, Justice Yonnette Cummings-Edwards dismissed further calls for an apology from the Attorney General.
On March 23, the AG portrayed behaviour termed as “insulting, disrespectful and contemptuous” towards the Judge, forcing him to leave his bench without adjourning the matter.
Justice Holder in a letter to the Chancellor had requested an apology from the Attorney General for his behaviour and utterances in his Courtroom. In the same letter, he said he is not prepared to hear Mr Williams as an Attorney-at-Law in any matter whatsoever unless he makes a “genuine and meaningful apology in open Court.”
The AG has refused to offer the apology to the Judge and has denied any wrongdoing.
Mr. Granger said the Attorney General has explained to him what transpired in Court and he pleased with that explanation.
“Under the circumstances, I cannot see anything which would have warranted him being cited for contempt of court… in that regard, there cannot be any justifiable call for an apology,” Mr. Granger added.
Justice Holder maintains that the AG was in contempt of court.
When the case was called on May 8th after a date and time was set by the Chancellor of the Judiciary for its continuation, Williams was a ‘no show’ and the Judge recused himself from the case and forwarded it through the Chief Justice and Chancellor for reassignment.
The Judge said he does not regret his choice to exit the courtroom as opposed to citing the AG for contempt of Court on that day since it has given him the opportunity to think the matter over, and also Williams the opportunity to apologise, which he did not.